Need help tracking down a Betacam player

I was digging through the storage closet at my school where our team keeps most of out things and I stumbled across a box of FIRST artifacts. I found videos from the old days. Some of them are just old videos of team demos, but some of them are classics such as the 1995 championship at Disney and a promising looking one entitled “Making All the Difference: 1994 U.S. First Competition” as well as many which are unlabeled. What I would like to do is convert these to a more modern digital format, which I have the software to do so, but the only thing I’m missing is a Betacam tape player to play them off of.

Now I ask of you the Chief Delphi community, If there is anyone out there with one of these relics, it would be greatly appreciated if I would be able to barrow it to and further everyones connection to FIRST’s past.

edit: For those who may be wondering, the tapes I found were in both sizes

Did you ever visit local libraries and ask to see if they have a Betacam player? Sure, it may be sitting in their basement collecting dust for the past decade, but many libraries will not throw out their equipment - especially if they still have media in that recording format. (At my local library, they still have microfilm machines that are decades old. They still work fine, so they still keep them.)

Also, once you come across a Betamax player, then the hard work is done. All that comes next is the time consuming part: capturing the video to your computer. You can use free software like Virtual Dub to capture video to AVI format. You can then use Windows Movie Maker (which is free on Windows), Quicktime (which is free on a Mac), DivX Pro (which costs money), or any other video editing software to convert and encode the video for posting purposes online. I would suggust the DivX or h.264 codecs, as they usually have high quality and low file size. Don’t ever use Windows Media Video (wmv) compression for any sort of official high-quality archives, as this is a very “lossy” video compression format.

Once you have all the videos finished, you should upload them to Google Video if you have permission (if your team does not own the copyrights to the media). That way the video is available to everyone, as well as downloadable in DivX4, iPod, PSP video formats.


Well I work in news in Toronto and our station although we shoot on DVCAM we edit to betacam…not even betacam sp and playback to air off that, that just goes to show how far ahead everyone else is.

You need a Betacam SP player and you will need video and audio cable with BNC and XLR connectors on one end and then whatever connectors on the other end that you’re record deck takes on the input.

To hunt down a Betacam SP deck I would suggest calling you’re local TV stations and video production companies as they would be the most likely places to have a deck and if they are not using it perhaps let you come in and use it and perhaps you could use that opportunity to show them all about FIRST robotics and maybe they’ll want to do a story on it…oh and maybe borrow you’re video for file footage:)

Give that a try and if no luck post again or email me and maybe you can send the raw tapes up to me here and I can copy them onto MINI-DV and send it all back down to you. At the station I shoot for I know I can go from Betacam sp to mini-dv and that’s about it…and I can get away with it late at night on a weekend.